Tag Archives: play

Hoop Mama

A couple of weeks ago (I’m catching up post our trip to New Hampshire), we got together with the Wagner and Janssen families for some potluck, conversation, and… hooping!  I was re-introduced to the hoop after what may have amounted to a 25 year hiatus.  We definitely didn’t pick up where we left off.  The first night was spent becoming re-acquainted- some straight up, old school waist hooping and a little bit of the booty bump.  Having done a trick and feeling really smooth with the hoop, I was hooked.  We were a group to behold- several women, one man (who rocked the hoop), and a handful of children all hooping in the twilight.  Those of us without, wanted hoops of our own.  We made a plan to get together again the next night for hoop making and more spinning. 

These are not your ordinary, plastic toy aisle hoops.  They are made of irrigation tubing making them heavier, more comfortable, easier to spin, and tougher to kink/break.  They’re also gorgeous and personal!  I feel very bonded to my hoop after spending the time making it.

Rather than re-creating the hoop- er…wheel, here are instructions for making your own hoop a la Sara Janssen.  I warn you- it’s addictive. 

Here are the hoops that Sadie (blue on blue), Elijah (blue and purple on pink), and I (alternating red/yellow & purple/blue) made.  They are all different sizes according to what felt good when we were hooping with others’ and that’s great because different sized hoops work for different tricks so I can switch it up if the kids aren’t looking. 🙂

Learning recently that I can collapse my hoop for easier travel, I am thrilled that we won’t have to be separated.  With our recent vacation, I was itching to get back in the spin.  I’ve been working on the lift and am now ready to move on.  My plan is to start watching more videos and trying out new tricks.  My hoop needs a little more weight so I’ll be adding more gaffers tape and possibly making one slightly smaller as Elijah is not always willing to share. 🙂  Many have asked about making their own hoops so I’ll be purchasing materials and having a hoop making party soon!


Posted by on May 27, 2010 in Parks, Playdate, RV, Uncategorized


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Spring is upon us!

Yes, it’s spring.  The weather is absolutely gorgeous.  We’ve been spending tremendous amounts of time outside doing all sorts of exciting things with all sorts of wonderful people.  Here’s a catch-up:

Rollerskating around the neighborhood- our wheels were not acceptable for the local indoor rink so we are just as happy to enjoy the weather and play together outside at home.

We’re making the rounds of the playgrounds on foot, bike, rollerskates, and wiggle cars.  This run-down jungle gym was an unexpected find on a bike ride one afternoon.  The kids thought it was pretty funny to climb on the window of the school bus.

Several people have asked me, when discussing unschooling, how my kids get PE (aka- gym).  I have to laugh because we’re always on the move! 

FINALLY- winter chill and wetness are gone and we’re getting together every two weeks for our DFW Whole-Life Unschooling Meet-Ups!  Discussions so far this spring have ranged from supporting health and wellness by listening to our children listening to their own bodies to talking to people about unschooling.  These are long days full of thoughtful, supportive, open-minded discussion and children frolicking happily on the playground, in the wooded areas, and in the creek!

We’ve hung out with old friends (Sadie and Rachel eat lunch together at the park).

And new friends!  The kids (after another fabulous children’s theatre production at Casa Manana) explore a 200 year-old pecan tree at the Ft. Worth Botanic Gardens with Milford and Crewe (of New Zealand). 

Creeks are a big fascination this spring.  We’ve spent a LOT of time exploring water!

We’ve got Miss Skooter with us almost everywhere we go.  She’s the kids’ baby and best friend.  She’s gotten quite big (for a small dog, mind you) but is dwarfed by Lulu.  We’ve found some great wild areas to explore near the house and are learning all the time about and because of our sweet pups.  Here Lulu looks longingly at what we presume to be an animal den.  It’s cleverly protected by cacti which keeps her at bay.


Posted by on April 30, 2010 in Uncategorized


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So maybe we’ll get a little snow.  Big deal.  We’re from New Hampshire.  These snows that people get all worked up about in Texas are small potatoes.  Holy crap!  We got 8 inches!!!  This is the view of our neighborhood from the conservation land/hill across the street.  Absolutely gorgeous to see everything blanketed in white.  The best part?  It’s gone the next day!  We found a few of our neighbors amusing as they attempted to use random household objects to clear the snow from their driveways.  We left the shovels and any desire to do any motions similar to shoveling in New Hampshire.  Drive over it  until it melts in 24 hours!  And what a collossal melt it was…

Elijah took his first sled ride down a pretty major hill with our teenage neighbor.  He usually prefers rolling to sledding but gave it a shot.

Sadie enjoyed several rides down the giant hill that dumped right into sharp-branched trees and pricker vines.  What were they sledding on, you ask?  Pool floats, of course!

I was quickly reminded of what happens when children are bundled into 14 layers of clothing (we don’ t have snow gear!) and proceed to walk up hills in deep snow…  The exhaustion hits suddenly like the spins after one shot too many.  Encouraging them home over running creeks (yes, Elijah fell in), through sticky mud, and snow was a trying experience for everyone.  Stripping off wet clothes at the door and settling in by the fire was perfect.

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Posted by on March 22, 2010 in Uncategorized


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One of the best parts of being home together is how close the bond is between us all. Especially heartwarming is the children’s friendship. Above Sadie puts on a puppet show for Elijah. Below he returns the favor. The story lines were similar and always seemed to end with the puppets running screaming from the stage across the playroom and two children giggling hysterically.

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We continue with our Star Wars Monopoly game. I continue to hover around the poverty line while the children put up apartments and towers. There is no ‘letting them’ win. They’re just winning (and not very gracefully…).

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This game is Jenga with a twist. It comes with a colored dice and each player must roll to see the color of the plank that they will remove on their turn. It makes it a bit trickier but always fun when it topples.

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Posted by on September 10, 2009 in Uncategorized


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I had one of my ever-present days today. They feel great- the ones where my mind follows my heart and all actions follow my guiding principles for life and family. There was a spectacular tea party complete with storytelling. Polly Pockets were dressed to the hilt and drove out of the car dealership in style on dirt bikes and in monster and garbage trucks (it was Sunday in our play so all vehicles were declared FREE). Simply shaped blocks, both large and small, were used to create a mall  and then a playground for tiny pets. Sadie hung a curtain in the hallway and the kids put on several plays in full costume. We made cookies. At some point in the afternoon the kids took off by themselves to play and I managed to vacuum the whole house in one day. It is confirmed to be true that if I follow my heart and their lead, everyone’s needs are met in the span of the day. So involved in participation was I that not many pictures were taken. Later in the afternoon, however, as Sadie played Clifford the Big Red Dog phonics games on the computer, Elijah asked if we could play store. I had no idea how serious he was…april-17-2009-053

Dry-erase boards were used to make ‘Sorry We’re Closed’ and ‘Yes, We’re Open’ signs. Yard sale stickers were used to price each cubby in the bookcase. Elijah filled his change purse with coins and a cash box was made for the store. I was the shop keeper and he, the shopper. Most of the game was the setup portion but he did purchase several items for $1.48 and worked through his change to provide me with exactly the appropriate amount. I had previously been confused as to why he didn’t think I would need a cash drawer…



Posted by on April 18, 2009 in Uncategorized


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